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Dish Network Downgrades NFL Network

Dish Network Moves NFL Network from Top 100 Package to Top 200, Cutting Its Reach to 31M 2/20/2008 01:02:00 PM Eastern

NFL Network was stripped of another 4 million subscribers after Dish Network downgraded the National Football League-owned cable channel.

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The satellite-TV service moved NFL Network from its America’s Top 100 package to the America’s Top 200 package, leaving its reach at around 31 million.

“We are aware of Dish's unfortunate decision, which is not in the best interest of its many subscribers who are football fans, especially this week, with NFL Network's exclusive coverage of the scouting combine featuring incoming college players from all over the country,” an NFL spokesperson said in a statement.

The move continues the NFL’s ongoing uphill battle for carriage, as its eight-game package of regular-season games has yet to help it increase penetration.

The league may not have done itself any favors from a leverage standpoint in the final week of the 2007 regular season, when it made the New England Patriots-New York Giants game available on both CBS and NBC.

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